Cover photo: Andrew Quilty Courtroom tactician, devastating in reply, intimidating and intense. Murray Gleeson has been described as many things, but his grim work persona gave him the label that stuck - The Smiler. Born in a small country town in NSW, Gleeson became the nation's top barrister and its leading judge. In a legal career spanning over 50 years, he had a ringside seat for political, legal and social events that shaped Australia - the final separation from Mother England, legalised abortion, the dismissal of the Whitlam government, the Tasmanian Dams Case, the Fine Cotton substitution, the scandalous attack on Justice Michael Kirby, the war on terrorism, prisoners' right to vote and the detention of refugees. The Smiler draws on more than 100 interviews with the man himself and his family, friends and judicial colleagues, including those who sat with him on the High Court. It is an unprecedented insight into a legend of the Australian legal system. In the media... The life of 'Smiler' Murray Gleeson, Michael Sexton, SMH_ 4 July 2014 Read article... The essence of good judgment, Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian_18 June 2014 Read article... Michael Pelly on 891 ABC Adelaide with Ian Henschke_16 June 2014 Listen to interview... Smiles and stares, Richard Ackland, The Saturday Paper_14 June 2014 Read article... Inside the Heffernan disaster, The Australian_6 June 2014 Read extract... Michael Pelly on 702 Drive with Richard Glover_2 June 2014 Listen to interview... Hughes appointment set an alarming precedent, Chris Merritt, The Australian_30 May 2014 Read article... The day Gaudron put Chief Justice in his place, The Australian_30 May 2014 Read extract... Book on Murray Gleeson sheds light on Fine Cotton comedy, Max Presnell, SMH_29 May 2014 Read article... Chris Merritt, Legal Editor for The Australian talks to author Michael Pelly Watch online... Gleeson subjected to formal interview, Chris Merritt, The Australian_23 May 2014 Read article... Gleeson appointment a ` brainer', The Australian_23 May 2014 Read extract... From the Launch... Pelly recites many tales which are familiar to the legal profession. However, there is much in this book that is new. He has done Australian legal history a great service by interviewing family, friends and colleagues whose reminiscences may t otherwise have been recorded. Read Launch Speech... From the Launch Speech by The Hon James Spigelman AC, QC
Michael Pelly (LLM: UNSW) is a journalist with over 30 years experience who has held senior writing and editing positions at Fairfax and News Ltd. He is now a columnist for The Australian. He has also been an adviser to state and federal attorneys-general. This is his first book.